“We thank the NH DES for both encouraging a settlement and providing the frame work for the final settlement agreement,” said CMI President Lloyd Dahmen. “By working with our engineering teams as well as discussing best management practices with other facilities and fuel companies, we are providing the residents of Tamworth and surrounding communities several additional levels of protection. The fuel distribution area and our storm water management system will be designed and built to exceed the requirements currently placed on other local area gas stations. In terms of selling gasoline with or without the additive MtBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether), Club Motorsports will simply follow the state's guidelines for the sale and distribution of fuel, the same as for gas stations located in and around Tamworth and throughout the state.”
The NH DES has already issued two major permits for the motorsports country club project; the “Wetlands and Non-Site Specific Permit” in July 2004 and the “Site Specific Permit” in September 2004. Starting in August 2004, Focus Tamworth launched several unsuccessful appeals of the Wetlands Permit. In September, 2004, the NHDES stated, “Final review of the information submitted by Focus: Tamworth for reconsideration failed to provide significant new information that would warrant a Department reversal of the approved wetlands permit.”
On April 12, 2005, the NH DES Wetlands Council voted 8-0 to deny the appeal of the Wetlands Permit. With this unanimous defeat, Focus Tamworth did not further challenge the permit.
In a separate, but equally important ruling, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also ruled in favor of Club Motorsports. In a July 18 letter to the attorney representing project opponents FOCUS: Tamworth, EPA Region 1 Administrator Robert W. Varney denied FOCUS’ petition by determining that Club Motorsports would not be required to obtain an individual storm water permit.
On September 5, 2005, The United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) granted Club Motorsports Inc. (CMI) a permit to proceed with work on Valley Motorsports Park. The ACOE permit, the last of three major state and federal environmental permits, was issued to the project following more than 18 months of rigorous review under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The review included multiple ACOE site visits to verify wetland delineations, two public comment periods to address key public interest factors, as well as a full public hearing in Tamworth on October 6, 2004.
As part of the ACOE review and approval process, The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources (NH DHR) determined the project will not have an effect on important cultural resources. In a July 29 letter to CMI, NH DHR wrote, “Based on our conversations and site visits, on the project information, archaeological surveys, implementation of the proposed use restrictions and easements, and other supplemental materials provided for the DHR’s review… it has been determined that the undertaking, as proposed, will not have an effect on the identified cultural resources.”
“We are pleased that our project continues to meet and exceed the standards required to receive and uphold our construction permits,” said CMI President Lloyd Dahmen. “These important rulings by the federal and state agencies clearly demonstrate once again that Club Motorsports is doing everything that is necessary and remains dedicated to strictly adhering to the requirements of the permitting review and approval process. We will continue to work closely with our experienced team of engineers and consultants together with the various agencies on the permitting and construction of a world class facility. It is our philosophy that if you are going to do something, you do it right, and we will work very hard to apply that mind-set to developing Valley Motorsports Park.”
Through wetland delineations agreed upon by NH DES, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Tamworth Conservation Commission, Valley Motorsports Park will impact less than three-quarters of an acre of wetlands. In granting the Wetlands Permit in July 2004, NH DES wrote, “…that the project will not significantly impair the existing wetlands, surface waters, and groundwater resources.”
A first-of-its-kind concept for New England, the Valley Motorsports Park development is located in wooded land on the north face of Mount Whittier off Route 25 in Tamworth, approximately two miles west of the intersection of Routes 25 and 16. Described as a “ribbon through the woods,” the road course would be available for use by its members, much like a golf course country club. The $28 million development includes a more than three-mile, 18-turn, European-style road course for drivers and motorcyclists to develop and practice their driving skills and attend performance and safety driving schools. In addition, Valley Motorsports Park will feature a vehicle dynamics area for driver development, short and long-term garage buildings, locker room and shower facilities, vehicle maintenance facilities, and a professional driving school. The Clubhouse will feature spectacular views
of the White Mountains, function rooms, a pool, tennis courts, an automobile museum, additional locker – rooms, a closed circuit media center, and an elegant restaurant.
Editors - For more information on Valley Motorsports Park or Club Motorsports, Inc., visit www.clubmotorsports.comor contact Jim Hoenscheid (603)437-3278 ext 207. For membership inquiries, contact a CMI representative at 603-437-3278